Free talk Feb. 25: Creating Japanese gardens in Maine

Feb 17, 2020
A Japanese-inspired garden created by Lee Schneller Sligh, speaker Feb. 25 at Belfast Free Library.

Belfast — Lee Schneller Sligh will talk about creating Japanese-inspired gardens in Midcoast Maine Tuesday, Feb. 25, at Belfast Free Library, 106 High St., beginning at 6:30 p.m. The program is co-sponsored by the library and the Belfast Garden Club and is free and open to the public.

Schneller Sligh will explain how to make use of Japanese design concepts such as “Hide and Reveal,” “The Beauty of Empty Space,” and “Borrowed Views.” Many Japanese garden design principles are universal, she says, and can be applied to gardens that don’t look Japanese at all. One core principle is that the garden should not look exotic in its surroundings, so she generally uses plants that look at home in New England.

Lee Schneller Fine Gardens has designed and built more than 300 gardens. Her presentation will feature slides of some of these gardens, as well as gardens in Japan. It will include tips for anyone who enjoys gardening.

Schneller Sligh earned degrees in Chinese language and literature and Asian history, and attended the Kyoto University of Art and Design’s “Intensive Seminar on Japanese Gardens.” She lived and traveled extensively in Asia and worked as a Japanese technical translator for 10 years before starting her business in Camden in 1995, which specializes in Japanese-inspired, naturalistic, and continuously blooming gardens. She is author of “The Ever-Blooming Flower Garden: A Blueprint for Continuous Color.”

The Belfast Garden Club has promoted the creation and care of public gardens and presented speakers to stimulate the knowledge and love of gardening for more than 90 years. The 2020 Winter Program Series includes topics about conservation and the environment. For more information, visit



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